Sunday, July 13, 2008

Forest funding 'could put billions in wrong hands'

Guardian (UK): The rush to protect forests as a way to tackle global warming could see billions of pounds handed over to corrupt politicians, criminals and polluting industries, experts have warned.

The Rights and Resources Initiative, a coalition of groups from around the world, says not enough has been done to address land rights in tropical countries, where much of the money is being directed. Without clearer guidelines on land ownership and involvement by local people, they say, the funds provided by rich countries, including Britain, to protect trees could fuel violent conflict and fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

…Two reports from the Rights and Resources Initiative, published today, show that progress on land rights has slowed in recent years. The group says just 27% of developing-country forest is owned by local communities, or designated for their use. It warns that the next two decades could see the remaining forests threatened by the "last great global land grab", with booming demand for land to grow food, biofuels and wood products….

River, village and forest. Puncak, West Java, Indonesia. Image by "What's in a name... ," Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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